trump sotu

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address as US Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (right) look on in the chamber of the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Jan. 30. (Win Mcnamee/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A look at President Donald Trump’s statement on family-based immigration Jan. 30 evening, during his first State of the Union address, and how it compares with the facts:

TRUMP: “Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.”

THE FACTS: It’s not happening, because the waiting list is so long.

There is currently no wait for U.S. citizens to bring spouses, children under 21 and parents. But citizens must petition for siblings and adult children, and green-card card holders must do the same for spouses and children.

On Nov. 1, 2017, there were four million people in line for family-based visas, according to the State Department. The waits are longest for China, India, Mexico and the Philippines. In January, Mexican siblings of U.S. children who applied in November 1997 were getting called, a wait of more than 20 years.

An immigrant could theoretically bring an uncle by bringing a parent who then brings his sibling, but the wait would be interminable for most.

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